Charlotte Hornets: 2 Takeaways from win vs. Washington

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets took down the current leaders in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, beating the Washington Wizards by a score of 97-87. LaMelo Ball led the way, finishing with a career-high in assists with 14. Charlotte has now extended their current win streak to four games with a 9-7 record.

Charlotte has had the toughest strength of schedule so far in the entire NBA, according to Basketball Reference. They just hosted and beat, the red-hot league leaders in the Golden State Warriors and the challengers wouldn’t stop as the top team in the East arrived in Charlotte looking to widen the gap between them and those ranked behind them.

Washington entered tonight 10-3 and on a five-game win streak. They have easily been one of the surprises of the NBA so far this season. The Hornets didn’t care about any of that as they were able to handle business and move up the Eastern standings.

2 Takeaways from Charlotte Hornets win vs. Washington: Hornets new small-ball lineup is VERY fun

When the Wizards started to extend their lead in the third quarter, James Borrego deployed a lineup consisting of LaMelo Ball, Cody Martin, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jalen McDaniels, and Miles Bridges. This proved to work wonders as the Hornets would go on a 20-2 run to reclaim the lead and push their lead to double digits.

Mind you this was when Washington’s big men, Daniel Gafford and Montrezl Harrell, were starting to punish the Hornets down low. This unit, consisting of no true bigs, stepped up big time to get defensive stops and score the basketball. We definitely need to see more of this unit going forward.

2 Takeaways from Charlotte Hornets win vs. Washington: The Hornets player development program needs some respect

Most of us already understand just how critical player development has been during Borrego’s regime. A majority of Charlotte’s draft picks have been major contributors in some form or fashion since entering the NBA. Martin, McDaniels, and Nick Richards are the latest to prove that the system is working.

Martin and McDaniels have been called on countless times to help rescue the Hornets while Richards is starting to prove that he might have a little role to play in the NBA.

While he’s still not nearly a finished product, Richards has provided decent minutes at the center position when the Hornets have been in desperate need of rim protection. Hopefully, he can continue to trend in a positive direction to become a true reliable bench piece.

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The Hornets take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday at 7:00 pm est.